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Pulse pressure linked to dialysis death rate

A high reading for pulse pressure–the difference between the two numbers in a blood pressure reading–may increase risks for people on kidney dialysis, according to a new analysis of clinical records.

The average pulse pressure is usually below 50 millimeters of mercury, but in dialysis patients it is often much higher, says Preston Klassen, a physician at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. An analysis of medical data for more than 37,000 dialysis patients around the United States revealed that 90 percent of them exceed a pulse pressure score of 50. Every additional 10 points of pulse pressure boosted by roughly 12 percent a patient's risk of dying at any given time during the 1-year study, the team reports in the March 27 Journal of the American Medical Association.

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